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‘Size zero’ fad inspiring ‘killer diets’

Teenaged Brit girls are so obsessed with celebrities’ size zero figures that they’re surviving on just one meal a day in a bid to copy them.
A Schools Health Education Unit survey found that nearly 10 per cent girls between 14-15 years skip breakfast and lunch in a bid to look skinny like Victoria Beckham or Cheryl Cole.
According to the report, 26 per cent girls in the 14-15 years age bracket miss breakfast often and 22 per cent do not have lunch. The survey also found that today’s girls want to shed pounds more than ever before.
About 40 per cent children aged 10 and 11 feel they have to ‘slim down’ although few are really overweight. Most of those wanting to lose weight are within the limits of healthy weight and some are already underweight. And there is an increasing trend of desire for weight loss.
Health experts have cautioned that a ‘size zero’ fixation could create health problems and even cause death.
Mary George, a representative for eating disorder charity Beat, said: “It is very unwise to skip meals, especially when the body is developing.”

Impaired foetal ups asthma risk
Children born with low birth weight are at a higher risk of developing asthma later in life, says a new study. The study is based on data on the incidence of asthma in 10,918 twins from the Swedish Twin Registry.
Questionnaire data on asthma in 9- and 12- year old twins was linked to the national Swedish Medical Birth Registry which records, amongst other data, birth weight and gestational age. Since twins have the same gestational age and share DNA, uterine environment and conditions of early infancy, twin studies are an excellent way to examine the relationship between foetal growth and childhood disease.

Retirees enjoy health at work
Retirees who work experience fewer major diseases and are able to function better day-to-day than people who stop working altogether, claims a new study.
The study’s authors refer to this transition between career and complete retirement as ‘bridge employment’, which can be a part-time job, self-employment or a temporary job.
“Given the economic recession, we will probably see more people considering post-retirement employment,” said co-author Mo Wang, University of Maryland.
“These findings highlight bridge employment’s potential benefits,” the expert added.
For this study, Wang and his team looked at the national Health and Retirement Study — sponsored by the National Institute on Aging. They used data from 12,189 participants who were between the ages of 51 and 61 at the beginning of the study. They were interviewed every two years over a six-year period beginning in 1992 about their health, finances, employment history and work or retirement life.

Chilli pepper helps relieve nerve pain
A new study suggests that people suffering peripheral pain — which produces stinging sensations, numbness, weakness, burning pain — can get respite by taking capsaicin cream, an active constituent of chilli peppers.
Peripheral pains often accompany disorders like diabetes, AIDS, shingles and arthritis; cancer patients can have peripheral neuropathies after receiving their therapies.
Now a team at Oxford University has found that 40 per cent people can get some relief from pain by having topical capsaicin cream containing medication.

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